Monday, April 23, 2018

Hanging Art

What is art anyway? Is anything you designate "art" art? Should art be pretty or thought provoking or both? Myself, I'm pretty conventional about art. I'm not a huge fan of photography, not that much of isn't beautiful and artful, but there are other mediums I much prefer. I love illustrations, I love landscapes and good seascapes, I like whimsical pieces that are more likely to make me smile than think and I love paintings that evoke a sense of place. I prefer animals in my art to people. I have a lot of art in my house, mostly from my Dad. I was exceptionally surprised when my Mother wanted me to get rid of all my Dad's art. She had disliked most of it except for about 7 pieces which are in her apartment. Who knew???
I loved most of his selections, although there are two or three that don't send me. Some of my favorites remind of Vermont. The long vista of rolling green hills

and of course cows.

 I grew up in Vermont during a time when the cow population outnumbered people.

Anyway, while my painting skills are pretty non-existent and certainly not "art" they do provide some whimsy. The headboard

 and footboard

 to the old bed frame are now both hung, facing each other as they were for many years before we took the footboard off the bed.

And speaking of art, my lovely wonderful veterinarian is a secret artist in her own right. This was my birthday gift from her.

 Done in 1990 for her brother, who had some printed up on archival paper.
Isn't it beautiful?! I am lucky to know so many caring and gifted people, from quilters, to painters and weavers, makers of all stripes. I am surrounded by creativity.

SO for creative endeavors on my part, here are the Trio pants you missed the last post

 and a cute top made from what was left of a wadder.

Buttercup handled her first warp beautifully. It went on and it wove off this weekend.

 I had a blast.
It also convinced me to leave well enough alone and keep her at just 2 shafts. Walking the treadles is a happy way to while an hour or so. The simplicity allows for creativity in other ways. Color, inlay maybe, a simple rep weave? Who knows. Another rug warp is on order for her. More rags I think and some fun with mop cotton.

4 of the 8 bumblebee towels are hemmed and ready to go.

Some for gifts and a few for me. My towels are looking pretty ratty these days.

A new warp for the David is in the works.

 A modification of the bread cloths from this old Handwoven.

Lastly, some really nice warm weather. The daffodils are finally nodding in a spring breeze on a sunny day. I think this song pretty much sums it up.

Parting shot: Regal ain't I?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Persistence Sometimes Pays

You know, "If first you don't succeed, try, try again." I wasn't ready to ditch the StyleArc Teddy top. That nifty almost Lady Dracula collar kept calling to me. The perfect combination of close, cold  blocking back collar combined with plunging, kind of sexy, front collar.

So, I took that pattern and decided if I was going to frankenpattern it I was going to do it with something that would take a sleeve or not. In other words, my MUCH used Grainline Scout Tee TNT pattern. Now All this fabric is scrap, leftovers, not quite enough for any one thing, but between the two, the black matalisse tip fabric and the silk/hemp blend, I eeked out a top without the cruddy looking cut on sleeve and the pattern is also ready for short, 3/4 or long sleeves.

Showing off the hem facing.
 It's fun, it's swingy, it would look great in a black charmeuse with a bright red inner collar for Halloween! ;-) There will be more.

I don't have pics, but I also revisited an old TNT pants pattern, The Sewing Workshop trio pants. I had to cut them down a couple of sizes from the last time I made them and the pair came out great. They are in the wash right now after being worn but I'll catch them for a quick photo for the next post. The print is fun.

I made another Tania Tabard.

The lined cross piece ended up being too heavy for this whisper weight Japanese linen so I did a little fixed "front only" twisted belt. Worked well and gave that nod to the twisted sash. A cool and elegant summer top paired with black or natural colored pants.

The Triple B did indeed get her little 15" cotton rug warp on. I found I can step in from the side and sit on the front beam while I thread.....

There were only 150 ends so it was pretty quick. Hopefully Buttercup will be weaving by the weekend.

The Bumblebee warp of 8 towels came off Ziva David too. They are washed and awaiting hemming.

Just an additional weaving note. I have decided to sell the JK Seidel Scandinavian Band loom.If anyone is interested, contact me.
Figured maple and cherry

A couple of weeks ago we installed a new bed. I loved the old painted headboard but the frame it was attached to was really starting to give out. It was an inexpensive futon bed frame years ago. We cut and modified it freely over the years to take the hand painted head and foot board doors and it was getting wobbly. I ordered new frame from Delia Furniture on Etsy, asked specifically for a lighter wood, Beech or Birch ( it is Beech!), and got just what I wanted.

The old headboard will be hung like we did with the footboard. You'll see.

Today is  National Bat Appreciation Day and in honor of that I'll leave you with a little song by Pete Seeger, a favorite of mine.

Parting shot: Protection, of a sort....  ;-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Triple B is Ready for Business

I have a couple small details to finish up but her warp is ready to go on and I'm ready to get down to the test "walk"! Here's Buttercup.


Fairies and their dust on the beater supports

I have a name!


Stars on the beams

Yep, I put my name on there too.

I need to get number stencils.

Raccoons because who doesn't need a few clever little hands to help with weaving!
Hand Prints too. Grab here!

The whole enchilada

Red breasted Nuthatch, my favorite woodland bird

Plain white cotton rug warp for rag weaving. Place mats!
I just have to leave you with this for todays ear worm! Sorry!

Parting Shot: We've been SOOOOOO ignored!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Two Out of Three

Not bad odds for new pattern success rates. I ordered the Anne Kerdiles Cezembre top pattern

and two StyleArc patterns all about the same time. Like all StyleArc patterns , the sizing is uniform and accurate but every 6 months to a year, I am lulled into buying a pattern that has a cut on sleeve.
Remember me saying I would never do that again? I must have declared that sentiment at least 6 times over the years! Somewhere, there must be the Holy Grail of cut on sleeves for me, but the Teddy top wasn't it.

 It wasn't the worst I've ever tried and I love the neck even though it is a very fussy piece of sewing, but the sleeves are a pattern killer for me. I'll steal the collar for use on a pattern with well fitting sleeves. Now the second StyleArc pattern was a real charmer.

 The Tania Tabard is a lovely go to garment to have in your wardrobe. The fit is perfect out of the envelope and the twisted sash across the front quite flattering.

Cute alone, with a sweater and with a little work as a  dress too! My kind of pattern. One more is already cut out in some special linen fabric I've been hoarding for at least 2 years maybe 3.

The long awaited custom warping board finally arrived!

It is a thing of beauty done all in oak and with a full 5" for my hand to pass through the dowels as I measure thread. Love it and who wouldn't want to look at this lovely Texas landscape painted by a dear friends Dad, many years ago.

I am really and truly on my last towel of the bumblebee warp. I'm kind of sick of yellow and doing this final one in a pale blue.

Looks silver grey as I weave it. Pretty!

I got some painting done on Buttercup last week, but haven't gotten back to her this week.

 I want to finish her up this weekend and start getting her back together for a tryout! WooHoo!

I need to mention three things. The first, how could anyone still think that orange asshat in the White House didn't cheat to win the election? In my world, if you cheat at something, you lose the prize/trophy, title etc. And don't get me going about the jerks in various cabinet positions. November can't come quick enough folks!

Those kids, standing up against the NRA, gun violence and 2nd Rights amendment bullies everywhere. OMG, you are all my heroes.

Lastly, Martin Luther King Jr. I was 10 when he was killed and the dinner table and current events classroom discussions about race and prejudice we had is just as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. A few months later it was Robert F. Kennedy who was killed. 1968 was a bloody awful year.
In honor of them both I leave you to be moved to tears with Mahalia Jackson.

Parting shot: Calendar girl!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Painting of Looms Is A Difficult Matter

It isn't just one of your holiday games; You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter.

T.S. Eliot would understand I'm sure. For those that may have missed this poem from Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" here it is in full.

While naming cats is hard, painting looms might be harder.

 This weekend saw Buttercup transformed from a ho hum structure of pine lumber to a happy red and blue beauty of a loom.

 Those boards are providing a lot of space for decorative painting, something I've always enjoyed doing.

 It's slow work though, brushes dry, paint gets muddy, stencils need to be cleaned often and like everything, I design on the fly.

I have a rough idea of the elements I want and where I might want them but I'm always open to a whim or two or more. So here we are with some of the inside of the loom worked on.

It will be days before she is done but so far so good and lets face it, I can always paint a portion over and start again.

The sewing closet has been a hopping place to! The second pair of Nehelam Pants (Sew House Seven) has finally been finished and I've used an inkle band on the tie.

A couple more Cezembre blouses have been completed too. I love this pattern. The fuchsia number is a lightweight linen and feels sumptuous on.

The little Charley Harper mice a soft organic cotton, Looks nice with those yellow pants too!

My Mom has completed her first series of 3 chemo treatments. She is tolerating the chemo well, although she has had to have a couple of transfusions. Otherwise, no sickness at all but some fatigue.
The cancer which is in her lungs and a few other places has not spread nor grown. Hasn't shrunk either but we'll take this holding pattern for as long as we can. We're going out for Easter dinner this year, she said she was up for it. Yeah!

I'm going to leave you with this song from one of my all time favorite bands and certainly my idol as far as bass players go. RIP John!

Parting shot: BWBF! (Best walking buddy forever)
When did all that grey happen?